Tom Bray became the envy of predator hunters across the UK when he landed this impressive 30lb 1oz pike... on a boilie!
This is only the second pike that the 21-year-old has ever caught, and it gave him his only bite during a session at a day-ticket water in Cambridgeshire.
A critically-balanced boilie topped with a popped-up piece of imitation corn was too much for the predator – which beats Tom’s 17lb personal best for the species – to resist.
“At first I thought it was a small carp. It was shaking its head and giving a decent account of itself as it neared the net,” said Tom.
“I probably would have put the fish back without weighing it, but then it rolled over in the net and I couldn’t believe the girth of the creature.
“My mate, who’s a keen piker, came down to see it and he was blown away, so there was no way I was going to slip this one back without weighing it properly and getting a few shots.”
Tom, from St Ives, Cambs, had never seriously targeted pike before this recent trip to his local carp water, but in the light of this accidental capture he’s now admitted to an urge to fish specifically for them this winter.
“I’ve never fancied fishing for pike in the past, but this fish has changed my mind,” Tom continued.
“I know I’ve been very lucky to catch this fish of a lifetime, because anglers fish for years and never catch a 30-pounder.”
“It’s going to take some beating, but who knows what else is in this lake.